April 17, 2014
STORRS, Conn. – Anthony Marzi became the seventh pitcher in UConn history to record 200 career strikeouts and tossed six innings of one-run ball to lead the UConn baseball team to a 4-1 win over conference rival Temple on Thursday afternoon at J.O. Christian Field. With the victory, UConn pushes its record over .500 at 18-17 and also improves to 5-4 in the American Athletic Conference. Temple drops to 10-19 on the season and 5-8 in league play.
Bobby Melley (Barnstable, Mass.) led the Huskies at the dish, going 3-for-3 and picking up his 16th multi-hit game of the season. Max McDowell (North Huntington, Pa.) notched a pair of hits and an RBI in the win, and Blake Davey (Newport Beach, Calif.) went 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI.
Marzi (Berlin, Conn.) earned his 10th nod of the season, and allowed a run in six innings, surrendering four hits and four walks with seven strikeouts. For the Owls, Matt Hockenberry (4-3) took the ball and threw 141 pitches, finishing his afternoon after 6.1 innings. The righty allowed four runs (two earned) on nine hits and also issued three walks.
Senior captain Tom Verdi (Warwick, R.I.) started things off in the top of the first, singling up the middle and advancing to second after recording his first steal of the 2014 campaign. With one out, Davey ripped a single through the left side of the infield to plate Verdi and give the Huskies a 1-0 lead.
UConn added to its lead in the home half of the third inning, grabbing a run after Vinny Siena (Woodbridge, Conn.) recorded a fielder’s choice to score Davey and knock in his 18th run of the year.
The score remained 2-0 in favor of Connecticut until the sixth inning when Temple grabbed a run, taking advantage of a hit and a pair of walks.
The Huskies added two insurance runs in the seventh inning. With the bases-loaded and one out, Eric Yavarone (North Haven, Conn.) chopped a grounder to the mound that Hockenberry fielded cleanly but fired over the catcher’s head, allowing Davey to scamper home. Next up, McDowell worked back from an 0-2 count to pick up an RBI walk and extend the Husky lead to 4-0.
Patrick Ruotolo (Peabody, Mass.) relieved Marzi (4-3) in the top of the seventh and was dominant, as he finished off the game with three perfect innings to earn his second save of the year.
The squads will return to the diamond on Friday, April 18 for game two of the three-game set. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.
- Anthony Marzi became just the seventh UConn pitcher to record 200-plus strikeouts in his career. The senior lefty has 201 career punchouts.
- Bobby Melley has 16 multi-hit games this season and 10 games with at least three hits.
- UConn now has four straight 10-plus hit games.